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The Best Slicker Brush for Dogs: Dog Grooming 101

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

What is the Best Slicker Brush for Dogs?

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs
  • Effective - Reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt & debris, keeps coat looking shiny and healthy
  • Versatile - Great for cats & dogs of all fur types
  • Easy to Clean - Simply retract bristles with the push of a button, then wipe away collected fur

What is a Slicker Brush for Dogs?

The slicker brush for dogs is a grooming tool that has fine, short wires packed close together on a flat surface. These work great with medium-to-long-haired or curly-haired dogs to remove mats.

There is a wide range of slicker brushes available on the market. However, looking for the perfect one can really make grooming your dog a lot easier, especially if they are of the correct size and have a flexible handle.

Irrespective of the breed, these brushes work great with Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and St. Bernards. If you have a dog with a long coat, there is a chance that they will develop mats that will need to be removed.

It is crucial to note that a slicker brush for dogs should be used carefully. This is because the fine, tightly-spaced wires can cause your dog discomfort if too much pressure is used.

Is a Slicker Brush a Good Brush for Dogs?

Yes, the slicker brush for dogs is good.

The slicker brush might look scary, but it does not cause any discomfort or pain if used properly. However, incorrect use can cause a bit of a problem, and therefore pet owners need to understand exactly how to use the brush.

These brushes have a lot of wire bristles that have been designed to remove knots and tangles in a dog’s fur. Made of wire, these bristles do not have any caps on them, so they are less sharp.

While some might assume that these brushes can cause harm, it is to be noted that these bristles have been designed to bend while being used.

Are Slicker Brushes Bad for Dogs?

No, the slicker brush is not bad. If used correctly, slicker brushes can have a therapeutic effect on the dog’s skin and coat.

For proper use, you must hold the handle of the brush pointed upwards before patting it into the coat. The brush must stay flat against the dog’s skin.

Then, gently brush the coat with the middle bristles, including the top rows. Use a ‘pulling’ motion through the coat with an upward motion while keeping the brush flat.

How Often Should I Use a Slicker Brush on My Dog?

The exact frequency of using a slicker brush for dogs depends on the coat type and length. Here is a short explanation of the types of coat and their need for slicker brushing:

  • Long-Haired Breeds. Long-haired breeds need to be brushed at least once a week. This is because their coat is more prone to tangles and matting. Additionally, these breeds are also shedding hair at a fast pace. Slicker brushes are able to take care of the loose pet hair even if your dog has a thick coat.
  • Short-Coated Dogs. Since short-coated dogs do not have to endure much matting, you can brush them once every couple of weeks to take care of the loose hair. In addition to a slicker brush, you can also use a grooming glove or a soft-bristle brush that removes dirt and help spread beneficial oils through your dog’s coat. Using a soft slicker brush can do wonders for your dog’s coat, thanks to its flexible metal pins.
  • Short, Wiry Breeds. These dogs require the least brushing. However, once every few days should be enough to remove the dirt and bring the loose dead hair to the surface from the undercoat with the help of the wire pins. Follow the brushing session with a metal comb for best results.

The Best Slicker Brush for Dogs Reviewed

Finding the right slicker brush for dogs can be tricky. To make things simpler, we have reviewed some of the best slicker brushes on the market.

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs

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Summary: This easy-to-use pet brush is designed to keep both your and your dog’s comfort in mind. The product promotes effortless brushing that helps keep your dog’s coat fit and healthy.

The brush also helps distribute natural oils through your dog’s skin which improves overall health. It features flexible bristles and an anti-slip handle for better grip. This ensures an enjoyable grooming experience for both you and your dog. It works great for collecting dirt, dander, and loose hair.

Features:

  • Self-cleaning
  • Deshedding tool
  • Smart design

Pros

  • Voted best overall for 2022 by Spruce Pets
  • Trusted by millions of pet owners
  • Reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt, and debris
  • Great for cats and dogs of all fur types
  • Can be cleaned with the push of a button

Cons

  • Can lead to skin irritation in rare cases
  • The fur release mechanism might not work properly

Review: Angled bristles, ergonomic comfort grip, and push-button retraction make it easy to keep your pet looking happy and healthy. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Hartz Groomer’s Best Deshedding Slicker Dog Brush

Hartz Groomer's Best Deshedding Slicker Dog Brush

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Summary: Thanks to this deshedding slicker dog brush, you can ensure your dog has a healthy and shiny coat. This is because it is able to massage the skin and activates the naturally occurring moisturizing oils.

Hartz developed their Groomer’s Best grooming tools with help from professional groomers. They are perfect for everyday use and help with deshedding and detangling stubborn fur. This helps keep your clothes and furniture free from unwanted hair. It features thin bristles with a protective coating to help remove tangles and matted hair.

Features:

  • Deshedding Tool
  • High-quality and sturdy design

Pros

  • Works great for all coat types
  • Can be used for both cats and dogs
  • Made of durable polyester and foam
  • Helps detangle stubborn mats and tangles
  • Recommended by professional groomers

Cons

  • The protective coating might wear off with frequent use
  • The bristles might get tangled in your dog’s coat

Review: A patented, unique design helps this de-shedder tool remove up to three times more fur than simply brushing alone. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Quadow Tuffer Than Tangles Slicker Brush

Quadow Tuffer Than Tangles Slicker Brush

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Summary: This slicker brush features an ergonomic handle that makes it easier to manage your dog’s precious coat. It can be used in combo with other grooming tools for best results. Whether you have a Poodle or a GoldenDoodle, this brush offers an efficient cleaning action.

Additionally, it can also be used as a cat brush, especially for Persians. The longer pins mean less pressure on the brush/dog/skin, and an easier time getting the pins down to the skin instead of just brushing the surface. A must for long-haired dogs whether they are double coated or not.

Features:

  • Soft pins
  • Detangling feature

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable product
  • Features soft bristles
  • Perfect for long-haired dogs
  • Great for loose undercoat

Cons

  • The product might not be very durable
  • There are better options available for the same price

Review: This product works great for dogs who have stubborn coats. Even dogs who are not good with brushing tend to find this comfortable. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Slicker Brushes

Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Slicker Brushes

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Summary: This brush has an ergonomic handle that helps keep your hands in a neutral position. This helps prevents fatigue and avoids any motion injury. The product has been designed to work with even double-coated dogs, thanks to the great control it provides.

It has a strong and durable construction but is still light enough to glide through your dog’s coat. It is perfect for brush-outs and mat removal. The stainless steel pins have a cushioning feature that ensures a comfortable brushing experience.

Features:

  • Ergonomic handles
  • Strong and durable construction

Pros

  • Recommended by professional groomers
  • Ideal for bath prepping
  • The ergonomic handle keeps your hand in a natural position
  • Prevents fatigue and repetitive motion injury
  • Fits your hand perfectly

Cons

  • The product might scratch your dog’s skin if not used properly
  • Might not be suitable for left-handed users

Review: This brush is available in extra small, small, medium, and large sizes. Its handle is molded and double-coated with rubber and has stainless steel pins. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush

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Summary: This slicker brush has been made especially for professional groomers. It has a cushioned pad that retracts the scratch-free pins making it easier to grab on to tangles and knots in your dog’s coat.

Additionally, it has larger than standard pins to grasp the hair and save time and energy during pet grooming. It features the unique GroomGrip rubber coating making it perfect for bathtime use. This coating helps prevent the brush from slipping in your hands, and its ergonomic handle helps prevent brushing fatigue.

Features:

  • GroomGrip rubber coating
  • Cushioned padding

Pros

  • Features larger than standard pins
  • Saves time and energy during pet grooming
  • Made for professional groomers
  • Has a cushioned pad with an efficient release mechanism
  • Prevents brushing fatigue

Cons

  • The product might not be suitable for smaller breeds
  • It might need to be paired with other grooming tools

Review: It is the best dog slicker brush for Poodles, Goldendoodles, and Labradoodles because of its ability to remove tangles and mats with ease. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Millers Forge Slicker Brushes for Dog Grooming Professionals

Millers Forge Slicker Brushes for Dog Grooming Professionals

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Summary: This dog grooming curved slicker brush is not only durable but is also extremely comfortable. Thanks to its fine stainless steel pins and the contoured plastic handles, the product is extremely easy to use. It efficiently removes mats, loose hair, and debris.

Additionally, this product is the go-to tool for professional groomers. It is lightweight and virtually indestructible as it is contoured for comfort. It is also perfect for sensitive skin and is also loved by dogs who do not enjoy grooming in particular.

Features

  • Curved plastic tool
  • Metal body

Pros

  • The pins are sturdy and durable
  • Gives the coat a nice sheen
  • Perfect for sensitive skin
  • Affordable and very effective
  • Recommended by many groomers

Cons

  • Could lead to hair loss in rare cases
  • The product might break if not used properly

Review: This is an excellent brush, although difficult to hold for people with hand wrist problems. The curvature of the brush makes it easier on the wrist. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Pet Slicker Brush With Soft Massage Pet Grooming Stainless Steel Pins

Pet Slicker Brush With Soft Massage Pet Grooming Stainless Steel Pins

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Summary: This brush has been designed with 50% longer and softer pins in comparison to a generic slicker brush. It is able to glide through thick coats with ease. It prevents scratching of the skin and offers a relaxing massage during the process.

It is perfect for puppies, kittens, or adult dogs and cats. The product also has a long, ergonomic, slip-resistant handle that gives you a better grip and more control over your brushing. It is perfect for long and/or double-coated breeds, including Poodles, Goldendoodles, Pomeranians, Collies, and a wide range of cat breeds with soft, fluffy coats.

Features:

  • Stainless steel pins
  • Massage experience

Pros

  • Used by professional groomers
  • Features soft stainless-steel pins
  • Ergonomic, slip-resistant handle
  • 30-day refund or replacement policy
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • The wire pins might get detached in rare cases
  • The cleaning mechanism might stop working

Review: The bristle design helps to glide through your pet’s hair without tugging and pulling to remove knots, tangles, and mats effortlessly. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Ryan’s Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Extra Long Pin Flat Slicker Brush

Ryan's Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Extra Long Pin Flat Slicker Brush

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Summary: The brand works on a simple mission to provide exceptional pet grooming supplies at affordable prices. As a result, this slicker brush features stainless steel extra long pins that penetrate deep into the coat.

Additionally, this brush is perfect for medium to large dogs who have thick fur. It also works great for double-coated hair. The brush has flat slickers that have rounded corners that do not cause any type of skin damage. It does not grab fur and only removes the loose hair with ease.

Features:

  • Stainless steel long pins
  • Non-slip design

Pros

  • Features rounded corners
  • Penetrates deep into the coat
  • Effective for medium to large dogs
  • Has a comfortable and non-slip grip
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Might not be suitable to use as a bath brush
  • Could lead to hand pain with frequent use

Review: Large flat slicker brush with extra long 1″ hard pins that penetrate deep into the coat. Grips are comfortable and non-slip. Amazon customers give this slicker brush 4.7 out of 5 stars.

How Do I Choose a Slicker Brush?

When buying a slicker brush for dogs, there are several things to consider:

  • Size. If you have a large dog, a basic large-sized slicker grooming brush can do the trick. For a small breed, a smaller brush can work wonders. Additionally, you can also buy really small-sized slicker brushes that work great on the muzzles and the ears. These are great for Shih Tzus, Yorkies, and Bichons.
  • Coat Length. You should choose the brush based on the length of their coat. The simple rule of thumb is – a longer coat means longer bristles. If your dog has a double coat, long coat, curly coat, or even a fluffy coat, these brushes are an important part of your dog grooming kit.
  • Coat Density. The coat density of your dog will determine how dense or hard your brush needs to be. You do not want to be running a hard brush if your dog has a thin coat. Otherwise, it might scratch their skin.

Can You Use a Slicker Brush on Wet Fur?

No, you should not use a slicker brush for dogs on wet fur. According to vets, it is best to use a brush on your dog’s coat only when it is dry.

Brushing while the coat is wet can lead to excessive matting, which is difficult to remove. If you want to brush your dog’s coat after a bath, it is suggested that you wait till it dries completely.

What is the Difference Between a Slicker Dog Brush and a Comb?

There are several noticeable differences between a slicker brush and a comb. Let us look at some of them:

  • Slicker brushes are mainly used for long-haired dogs to remove mats and tangles. They also are used to remove loose hair from their undercoat.
  • While a comb has straight teeth, slicker brushes are made up of fine, wire bristles, which are normally angled in a certain way.
  • Combs have normal teeth, while slicker brushes have protective tips to reduce irritation to your dog’s skin.
  • Slicker brushes are great for thicker-haired dogs and those with an undercoat, while combs can work great for almost any breed, including short-haired dogs.
  • Slicker brushes have teeth packed close together, which helps remove tangles. On the other hand, combs have a bit more spaced-out set of teeth.